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Fabulous jobs numbers, a fading pandemic and a president doing his job with quiet competence should embolden Democrats to drop their funk and campaign furiously for the midterms. Ignore President Joe Biden’s weak poll numbers. The good news should eventually wash over the gloom.
Democrats should also take out their finest vellum and pen a thank-you note to the Republican National Committee for dismissing the violent coup attempt on Jan. 6 as “ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse.” Defending the lowlifes who ransacked the Capitol, threatened the life of their vice president and killed police was an act of political insanity.
In a similar vein, Democrats might send former Donald Trump aide Steve Bannon a box of chocolate chip cookies for sending more arms to the Republican circular firing squad. Bannon had called former Vice President Mike Pence a “stone-cold coward” for saying that Trump was “wrong,” and “I had no right to overturn the election.” To normal Americans, that was Pence’s second finest hour, his first being his refusal on Jan. 6 to stop the Electoral College count.
To keep their majorities in Congress, Democrats will have to disband their own circular firing squad. We speak of the woke left, a small but noisy group intent on heretic hunting in their own party.
Not enough attention was paid to Biden’s comments on the U.S. economy having 467,000 new jobs in January. This high number — at a time when omicron was drowning spirits — shocked economists. The disappointing new job totals for November and December, meanwhile, were revised upward by a not-at-all-disappointing 700,000.
Biden delivered a Reaganesque “Morning in America” speech using the right language. He spoke of the “extraordinary resilience and grit of the American people and American capitalism.” He talked up his program to “Buy American” and then took listeners onto a tour of the industrial heartland.
Just outside Columbus, Ohio, Biden noted, Intel is building a $20 billion semiconductor factory. It will employ 3,000 workers earning an average of $135,000. In Michigan, General Motors is investing $7 billion in plants to make electric batteries and to make the trucks using them. That will add 4,000 good jobs.
“The Union Pacific Railroad,” Biden added, “announced the largest purchase of American battery-electric locomotives in history.” It will be built in Erie, Pennsylvania. That’s how Trump would have talked, had this happened under him.
While taking a muscular approach to American manufacturing, Biden dispensed with attacks on the rich. He noted that they would be paying for some of these programs, thank you. One hopes the American people are hearing this.
On the world stage, Biden is standing up to Chinese leader Xi Jinping, and unlike his predecessor, he’s not slobbering at the feet of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Trumpian dead enders are currently rooting for Russia against the interests of the U.S. and our NATO allies. Not pretty.
Back in this country, the COVID-19 pandemic is about to be replaced by the COVID-19 endemic. With the vaccinated majority largely protected, all those fights over masks, government mandates and horse pills will leave the headlines.
You may not like some of Biden’s policy decisions. I don’t approve of them all. But trying to protect and build the domestic economy is usually Job No. 1 for a president.
It wasn’t Biden who said that “the U.S. economy grew rapidly in the fourth quarter … capping the strongest year of growth in nearly four decades.” It was The Wall Street Journal.
In the first year of his presidency, Biden boasted, “our economy created 6.6 million jobs — 6.6 million jobs.” That kind of rhetoric should make Democrats smile, if they still know how.